The Spirit of a Hummingbird.

The new Cosmic Photo Challenge is IN THE REALM OF THE OTHERWORLDLY.

I spent some time thinking about the challenge before Googling otherworldly which was defined as “relating to an imaginary or spiritual world” and the word spiritual made me think of this photo of a female Ruby-throated Hummingbird from last summer.

After editing the photo last year I thought of it as the spirit of a Hummingbird. I added a film type border as it makes me think of some early photographs that supposedly show fairies or ghosts.

Motion blurred Hummingbird.

Around Dominion Lookout.

The new Lens-Artists Photo Challenge is Around the Neighborhood.

I was considering the neighborhood I currently live in. I actually had the post started before deciding to change neighborhood, firstly to Saskatchewan, Canada and then to Cheshire, England where I grew up.

I then changed neighborhoods again and moved on to Southampton, Ontario. Located on the shore of Lake Huron, I lived in the town for around eight years and still visit regularly.

I used to spend a lot of my spare time down on the shoreline with a camera so decided to write a post based on the lake shore. I then went with using photos taken within a few hundred yards of Dominion Lookout at the bottom of the High Street as that was one of my regular locations.

I have no idea why it’s called Dominion Lookout, the giant Southampton flagpole is there and I’ve always referred to the area as down by the flagpole.

A female Common Merganser with a line of young in tow. A couple are riding on her back.

Ducks in a row.

Chantry Island and its lighthouse at sunset with a giant sun pillar behind the island. Taken in the winter, Lake Huron is covered with frazil ice. Sun pillars are formed by ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere.

A giant sun pillar.

A Caspian Tern with a small fish flying along the shoreline in the summer.

Caspian Tern with catch.

A view of Chantry Island and its lighthouse from the Lake Huron shoreline early one morning. Taken around 15 years ago this rocky spit is now under water after a rise in the water level.

Sunrise on Lake Huron.

A juvenile Red Knot on the Lake Huron shoreline during autumn migration. One of a couple of Red Knot I spent a few hours with. This shot was taken soon after sunrise in golden light. The birds became comfortable enough to feed, bath, preen and then sleep in front of me.

Red Knot in golden light.

Rocks and waves on the shoreline early one summer morning.

Rocks and waves.

A Red Fox trots along the shoreline. Taken last spring, I later discovered that the Fox is a well known resident with the locals mostly ignoring it

Trotting Red Fox.

A florescent green kayak emerges from the fog on Lake Huron. Taken in the middle of July last year although you wouldn’t think that given the weather.

A splash of green.

A Hint of Spring.

This week’s Cosmic Photo Challenge is A Hint of Spring.

Definitely a case of digging into the archives as our weather seems to be worse since the middle of February with no hint of a spring.

In this part of Ontario one of the first signs of spring is the arrival of the American Robins (Turdus migratorius) that will spend the summer with us. The males normally arrive first and fight one another establishing territories hoping to attract a mate when the females arrive.

I picked this shot because this recently arrived male looks like it’s spoiling for a fight with the camera. Taken on the Lake Huron shoreline in Southampton, Ontario.

A sign of spring.

Female Common Blackbird.

Throwback Thursday travels back to Cheshire, England in the 1980s and continues the theme of birds eating windfall apples in the winter.

Having posted a male Common Blackbird (Turdus merula) at the end of January here’s a female. The female is a little different from the male, brown overall but with an orange bill and eye ring similar to a male.

Female Common Blackbird.

Niagara Escarpment nature.

The new Lens-Artists Photo Challenge is Nature.

The first thing I did was Google the definition of nature which reminded me that nature includes geology. So I thought of a local geological feature, the Niagara Escarpment, to write a post about.

First, a brief description of the Niagara Escarpment. It runs through several U.S. states and loops up through Ontario, Canada. It’s most well-known feature is the cliff over which the Niagara River flows at Niagara Falls. It form the eastern side of the Bruce Peninsula before disappearing into Lake Huron at the tip of the peninsula.

To the photos.

A large ledge of stone overhangs the Colpoy’s Bay shoreline. There are caves of various sizes in the face of the Escarpment. A pair of Common Raven bred in a small cave in this section in 2018.

Rock overhang.

A larger section of the Escarpment covered in autumn colour. You can see small sections of the rock face through the trees.

A section of autumn colour on the Niagara Escarpment.

A female Common Merganser with a youngster on her back. Taken on Colpoy’s Bay at the base of the Escarpment. Common Merganser nest in holes in trees so the female could have nested in one of the trees along the Escarpment.

Hitching a ride.

A group of White Trilliums and a solitary Dandelion growing on top of the Escarpment. The White Trillium is the provincial flower of Ontario.

Ontario's Provincial Flower.

Food.

Except that in the end it wasn’t food in the way I was expecting it to be.

This week’s Cosmic Photo Challenge is Food.

I had a dozen ideas for the challenge, none of which I was particularly happy with. I then remembered this incident and decided to tell a bit of a story.

The first photo shows a Herring Gull standing over a fish covered in sand on the Lake Huron shoreline in Southampton, Ontario. After a while the Herring Gull lost interest in the fish and left it lying on the sand. It was still lying there when I packed the camera away and headed home. But that is the end of the story.

American Herring Gull guarding a fish.

The story begins when an Osprey patrolling the Lake Huron shallows dives in and catches a fish. This is witnessed by various Herring Gulls who then start harassing the Osprey trying to get it to drop the fish. In this photo an immature Herring Gull is coming in from the side of the Osprey in an attempt to steal the fish.

Herring Gull harassing an Osprey.

Eventually the Osprey is forced to drop the fish. It lands on the shoreline where an adult Herring Gull claims the fish to pick at it briefly before losing interest.

American Herring Gull with a fish.